Excited about our Have You Met series where I showcase YOU, the photographers of our community. We had over 400 photographers apply for the series in less than a week. I can’t wait to showcase the talented photographers. There is a mix of hobbyist and business owners as well as full-frame and crop sensor users. This may be my new favorite part of the site.
This post contains affiliate links. Thanks in advance for supporting Click it Up a Notch. I am not longer accepting applications for this series.
No.01Tell us a little about yourself and your photography journey.
In a past life, I was a Business and Quality Assurance Analyst for a healthcare company. Now I’m a wife and stay at home mom to my daughter Ariya. We also have 2 dogs and 1 cat. I’ve always carried a camera around in high school, starting with a point and shoot film camera. I loved capturing moments and I have plenty of photographs to prove it. But it wasn’t until after viewing the photos from my wedding that really motivated me to buy my first dslr and take a photography class at the community center. Then life happened and the camera laid in the corner gathering dust for a few years. Fast forward to 2013, when my daughter was born. I picked up my camera and it hasn’t left my side since.
Lensbaby Edge80 | f/4 | ss 1/200 | ISO 50
No.02What is the best advice you received so far on your photography journey?
Don’t compare yourself to other photographers; everyone’s journey is different. Social media like facebook, flickr, and instagram are a wonderful thing. I’ve met a ton of amazing photographers that I call friends, who have inspired and encouraged me. But some days, when I look at my newsfeed and see their amazing photos, I start to compare, or wonder why my photos don’t look like theirs, or how can I make mine look “better”. And then I look at my older pictures when I was just starting out and remember that my journey is different. I’ve made progress. I’m learning and constantly growing. That’s what matters to me.
No.03Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration through my daughter’s eyes. The wonder and delight she has for the simplest things that I take for granted. It has helped me to find beauty in the every day with our family.
Tamron 24-70 at 70mm | f/3.5 | ss 1/160 | ISO 6400
No.04What type of background do you have? Self taught? Formal training? Mentor?
I would say I’m self taught. I signed up for a class at the rec center when I purchased my first dslr. But after googling, and reading a lot of articles online, I stumbled upon Click It Up a Notch, and then found Clickin Moms. From there, I’ve taken a ton of workshops, through Clickin Moms and through The Bloom Forum. I’m addicted to learning as much as I possibly can.
No.05Are you currently doing any photography projects? If so, what?
After reading an article about doing a Project 365 on Click It Up a Notch in 2013, I joined a Project 365 Facebook group and completed my first 365. I went straight into my 2nd 365 and also started a self portrait Project 52 this year. I’ve also joined a lensbaby and 10 on 10 monthly blog circle. These projects sound a little overwhelming but they keep me motivated.
Lensbaby Sweet 50 | f/2.5 | ss 1/160 | ISO 800
No.06If you could only use one lens for a year, which would you choose?
This is tough because I have way too many lenses. I do love my Tamron 24-70mm lens. It’s versatile , great for landscapes, portraits and everything in between.
No.07Share links to 3 of your favorite photography tutorials and tell us why.
Project 365: Here we go – This was the article that started it all. I needed a project that would keep me motivated and encourage exploration. Reflecting on past photos have really shown me how far I’ve come.
Toddler Photography: 8 ideas to capture those early years – This article helped get me out of a rut when it came to shooting pictures of my daughter. There were times when I would get frustrated because she wouldn’t look at the camera and smile, or she’d move into an area that had a lot of clutter, etc. This article helped me let go of any expectations and just live in the moment.
How to make an abstract macro photo with oil and water – Macro photography is something that I definitely want to get into next. I’ve recently purchased the Nikon 105 lens, and hope to try this tutorial one day. I love the abstract, and the colors are beautiful. Definitely different from my usual subjects.
No.08What is your favorite image right now?
I love getting in the frame with my daughter, and I love these moments that I share with her. It’s nice to have this to remember her by, because she won’t always be so little and she won’t always want to be held by me.
No.09What type of camera and lenses do you shoot with?
I currently shoot with a Nikon d610 and my main lens is a Tamron 24-70. I also have a variety of film camera bodies (Nikon f100, Pentax 6×7, Pentax 645, holga, diana) and a variety of lenses (lensbaby composer pro with sweet 35, sweet 50 and edge 80 optic, lensbaby fisheye, Nikon 50 1.8, Nikon 35 1.8, Nikon 105, a few pentax lenses to go with the film bodies)
No.10Let’s light someone else’s candle, who is a photographer you think we should check out?
here are way too many to count that I’ve met along the way, through the Project 365 facebook group and Clickin Moms. But I’m in love with Ana Rosenberg and Pauline Putt’s work. I’ve met them both through the Project 365 page. They are both masters at the lensbaby lens (which I’m working on mastering), but their subject matters and post processing varies. They are also great friends and mentors.
No.11What is your biggest challenge when it comes to photography?
My biggest challenge is letting go. Not every photo is going to be “portfolio worthy”. The purpose of doing a 365 is to capture the every day moments of our family, and to hopefully advance my photography skills. But they all can’t and won’t be gallery ready and perfect and that is ok.
No.12How do you display your photos?
I’m ashamed that I have not printed as much for display as I should. I’ve been a huge fan of artifact uprising and have printed a lot of my instagram/mobile photos. I’ve created Blurb Books for a “yearbook” for my daughter and also documenting my first 365 Project. The rest of the photos on display in our house are done by hired photographers. My goal this year is to print more and put it up for display.
No.13What's the strangest thing you carry in your camera bag, and why is it in there?
My Ketti bag doubles as a diaper bag/digitial camera bag/purse. So I’ve got the usual, diapers, wipes, camera and lens attached, wallet and cell phone. If I’m going on an outdoor adventure with my daughter and want to try some film, I may bring the holga or my film 35mm camera as well.
Nikon 105 | f/3.2 | ss 1/125 | ISO 640
No.14What is next on your list of things to learn this year in photography?
Film film film and more film. I’ve always adored the look of film, the tonal range. I’ve purchased VSCO and Mastin Labs presets to help give my photos a film look. But there’s something about film that makes me want to slow down, think carefully about the picture that I want to take, take the picture and then wait..wait to mail off the film, for the film lab to receive it, for the film to be developed and scanned, to get the email from the film lab that my scans are ready, the excitement of clicking that link and downloading my negatives. It’s like Christmas every single time. I recently took a film workshop with Jennifer Warthan at Warthan farms, and an in person workshop REALLY helped control my fear of film. I do plan on taking Joyce Kang’s film workshop on in Beauty and Chaos next.
No.15If people want to follow more of your work where should they go?